Various natural mechanisms have been proposed, but physically measurable forces fail because astronomers can demonstrate that they are too small to be significant. Therefore, astrologers must resort to some unknown entity. I need no theory of the birth chart in order to interpret it, merely an awareness that people with Mars in X and Venus in Y tend to present in similar ways.
This observation is not a theory, any more than is the observation that people tend to cry out in pain when bricks are dropped on their feet. Neither does every problem need a theory before it can be solved […]. I am hungry. I eat. What theory has taken place here? No theory there, just mumbo jumbo. Astrologers resort to anecdotes as evidence to boost claims their system works. Scientists may use anecdotes as a guide for what to pursue through a more systematic process, but on their own, anecdotes are too prone to the distortion of human perception and memory.
So, we are left with their assurances that it works. But I can assure you that it does work. The pattern that the planets made at the moment of your birth—that is, your birth chart or horoscope — describes your tendencies, abilities, challenges and potential. The exact shape of your destiny, I believe, is up to you R. Orion, Astrology for Dummies, p.
Well, at least we get a bit of control over our destiny. Astrology has various religious aspects. In spite of evidence that shows the original explanations regarding the universe and man's place in it are now radically different, proponents refuse to discard the old rules. To attract and keep followers, astrology appeals to a mystique where explanations are based on faith in spiritual or magical powers and various mystical concepts. Since natural explanations fail, famous astrologers will declare: "Astrology is truth!
The twinklings of the fixed stars from without our solar system are the pulsations of spiritual impulses sent forth by the guardians of the Greater Mysteries; and the Mercurians, the Gods of Wisdom, send out similar impulses pertaining to the lesser mysteries, hence Mercury twinkles like a fixed star M. There is a distinct tone of "sciencey-ness" to astrology. Practitioners will call it "scientific" based on the methodological, careful and systematic use of calculations and real astronomical position data. Never mind the various natural laws these calculations utterly disregard.
They consider "research" to mean consulting tables and the rules. Astrology is an unworkable, failed theory. Its predictions are so imprecise that they are difficult to test. Astrologers have not provided an acceptable, natural basis of why humans should be so influenced by celestial conditions at a particular time. The astrological paradigm has failed to contribute any knowledge to the social sciences. Except to those who benefit from the feeling of a semblance of control over their affairs. At no time would a scientist say that a cause simply did not matter so long as he believed it to be true.
This is what astrologers have done—exhibiting a clear indication that astrology stands today as a belief system; it is not scientific, it is a pseudoscience. The next time some sciencey astrologer tries to commandeer the credibility of science for their nonsense charts and predictions, just laugh. Abell, G. Carroll, R. Kurtz, P. Sharon Hill is a scientific and technical consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and creator of DoubtfulNews.
E, the Matanaga avadha was translated into Chinese. It gives the lengths of monthly shadows of a inch gnomon, which is the standard parameter of Indian astronomy. The work also mentions the 28 Indian nakshatras.
It is in this work that the famous Buddhist centesimal-scale counting occurs during the dialogue between Prince Gautamaand and the mathematician Arjuna. Atomic-scale counting is also mentioned.
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Although these translations are lost, they were also mentioned in other sources. The divisions of the sky began with the Northern Dipper and the 28 mansions. In , a lacquer box was excavated from the tomb of Yi, the marquis of Zeng, in Suixian, Hubei Province.
Names of the 28 lunar mansions were found on the cover of the box, proving that the use of this classification system was made before BCE. As lunar mansions have such an ancient origin, the meanings of most of their names have become obscure. Contributing to later confusion, the name of each lunar mansion consists of only one Chinese word, the meaning of which could vary at different times in history.
The meanings of the names are still under discussion. In the late period of the Ming Dynasty , the agricultural scientist and mathematician Xu Guangqi — CE introduced 23 additional constellations near to the Celestial South Pole, which are based on star catalogues from the West see Matteo Ricci.
These books appeared to have lasted until the sixth century, but were lost after that. These texts should not be confused with the original catalogues written by them.
Notable works that helped preserve the contents include:. Moreover, it was customary in the past for the Chinese to forge works of notable scholars, as this could lead to a possible explanation for the inconsistencies found. Wu Xian is generally mentioned as the astronomer who lived many years before Gan and Shi.
Zhang Heng also published his work Ling Xian , a summary of different astronomical theories in China at the time. This time, constellations and stars were listed. Unfortunately, many of the documents of that period were destroyed, including that of Shoujin.
The Chinese drew many maps of stars in the past centuries. It is debatable as to which counts as the oldest star maps, since pottery and old artifacts can also be considered star maps. The most famous one is perhaps the Dunhuang map found in Dunhuang , Gansu.
The map was drawn on paper and represents the complete sky, with more than 1, stars. Although ancient Babylonians and Greeks also observed the sky and catalogued stars, no such complete record of the stars may exist or survive. Hence, this is the oldest chart of the skies at present. According to recent studies, the map may date the manuscript to as early as the seventh century CE Tang Dynasty. Chinese astronomers recorded 1, observations of solar and lunar eclipses from BCE.
The moon and the planets are Yin ; they have shape but no light. This they receive only when the sun illuminates them. The former masters regarded the sun as round like a crossbow bullet, and they thought the moon had the nature of a mirror. Some of them recognized the moon as a ball too. Those parts of the moon which the sun illuminates look bright, those parts which it does not, remain dark.
The ancient Greeks had known this as well, since Parmenides and Aristotle supported the theory of the Moon shining because of reflected light. The sun is like fire and the moon like water. The fire gives out light and the water reflects it. Thus the moon's brightness is produced from the radiance of the sun, and the moon's darkness pho is due to the light of the sun being obstructed pi.
The side which faces the sun is fully lit, and the side which is away from it is dark. The planets as well as the moon have the nature of water and reflect light.
When a similar effect happens with a planet we call it an occulation hsing wei ; when the moon passes across kuo the sun's path then there is a solar eclipse shih. The later Song Dynasty scientist Shen Kuo — CE used the models of lunar eclipse and solar eclipse in order to prove that the celestial bodies were round, not flat. This was an extension of the reasoning of Jing Fang and other theorists as early as the Han Dynasty. Shen Kuo explained his reasoning for the former:. If they were like balls they would surely obstruct each other when they met. I replied that these celestial bodies were certainly like balls.
How do we know this? By the waxing and waning of the moon. The moon itself gives forth no light, but is like a ball of silver; the light is the light of the sun reflected. When the brightness is first seen, the sun -light passes almost alongside, so the side only is illuminated and looks like a crescent. When the sun gradually gets further away, the light shines slanting, and the moon is full, round like a bullet. If half of a sphere is covered with white powder and looked at from the side, the covered part will look like a crescent; if looked at from the front, it will appear round.